How to Add an Authorized User to a Discover Credit Card

by Eric Volkman | Nov. 1, 2018

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Three women shopping, one holding a credit card

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The more the merrier! A Discover credit card can be a very useful debt instrument, perhaps even more so if you add a trusted partner or family member to the account. These folks are then classified as "authorized users," and they have most of the privileges enjoyed by the primary and secondary cardholders. These include:

  • Make purchases (arguably the most important activity)
  • Make payments
  • Receive account information
  • Launch billing disputes
  • Report lost/stolen cards

Luckily for you, the issuer has made it quite an easy and straightforward process, so there's no need to read complicated instructions on how to add an authorized user to a Discover credit card. Simply follow these steps, and become aware of these rules and guidelines.

You must add authorized users online

As with many processes these days, the first required step is to go online, specifically to your Discover card account center.

If you're a new cardholder and the words "account center" are unfamiliar to you, they refer to the online portal through which you'll be managing your account. In order to set up account center, you'll need to register for it on Discover's website.

Once you have access to account center, enter it, and then click or tap on Account Profile. You'll then hit the "Add user" button to -- yes! -- add an authorized user to your Discover card. Do this for each person you want as an authorized user.

Information you'll need for each authorized user

Understandably, Discover wants to have enough information to feel secure about the authorized users you're adding. When you add one, you'll need to have these pieces of information about them handy and will be asked to enter them in the system.

  • First and last name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number

Authorized user limits

Sorry, but you can't add all your college friends and the many third cousins you love to your Discover credit card account. The issuer limits the number of authorized users to five. Note that this number doesn't count the primary and (if there is one) secondary cardholders.

On top of that, authorized users are prohibited from taking several actions with the account. Discover lists these as:

  • Closing the account
  • Adding other authorized users
  • Requesting a lower APR
  • Raising the credit limit
  • Changing an address
  • Creating or changing card PINs

Requesting additional cards

It's important to remember that authorized users aren't necessarily cardholders themselves; they are simply individuals that have some degree of access to the account. So if you would like some or all of them to have cards, you must let Discover know.

This is done when you're adding your authorized user(s). In each case, you have the option of granting a card. Opting in will generate plastic for the chosen recipients.

Why add authorized users?

There are several major reasons for adding an authorized user. If one or more apply to your situation, consider bringing additional members into your little club:

Credit establishment -- Perhaps you have a friend/loved one that hasn't yet established a credit history. Assuming that person follows good credit card management practices, adding them as a user should help build a good credit profile for them.

Discover reports the relevant actions of all authorized users to the three credit bureaus, although we should note that not all issuers do this.

Credit recovery -- Similarly, a person who is in credit profile recovery mode due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties can also benefit from being an authorized user. Prudent card use and management will greatly help to raise their score.

Rewards accumulation -- With more than one person spending money on the card, you'll collect the card's rewards faster. This can be a very effective way of amassing points, miles, cash-back earnings, etc.

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